The Western Regional Coordinating Council under the leadership of Honorable Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah conceived the idea of digitizing the operations of the Environmental Health Departments in the 14 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies in the Western Region of Ghana.
This led to the development of a mobile and web application titled, E-TANKAS, a short form for the Electronic Town Council to transform the work of the environmental health work from the manual way of managing and reporting waste nuisance in society into the electronic platform.
This software is intended to automate environmental health administration by the local assemblies across the fourteen Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies in the Western Region of Ghana. The purpose of this software is to help track environmental health issues confronting various communities within the districts and the region at large. In addition, the software will help in tracking offenders who breach the sanitation laws on environmental health as well as serve as a revenue mobilization tool that will alleviate leakages from fines and fees charged by the environmental health department.
Upon successful completion of a prototype version of the E-Tankas, the Hon. Regional Minister through the Chief Director sanctioned the piloting of the system across three selected Districts in the Region, after taking into account the proximity and efficiency, Shama, Effia kwasimintsim, and the Wassa East Assemblies were selected for the piloting exercise.
The exercise took place within these three Municipal and District Assemblies within a period of 3 days. A team from the system vendors from Accra came to add to the team from the Western Regional Council, under the leadership of Mr. Daniel Adom from the Regional Environmental Health Unit and Mr. Bismark Amoah, from the Management Information Systems Unit and other staff to embark on the 3 days piloting of the Project.
Our first point of call in each of the districts was either the Chief Executive or the Coordinating Director, the Municipal/District Environmental Health Officer(s), and the Management Information Systems Officer.
After short briefings to Management members in each of the three Assemblies we visited, the team set to the grounds with the field officers to use the application in order to appreciate how the system aligns with their traditional ways of administering their operations on the field.
Surprisingly, the team accosted a number of the community members who were in the process of violating the rules already, the field officers used the application to capture some of them, and warnings were sanctioned to them to desist from those acts since the main implementation will not spare them anymore when they are caught again.
An example of such nuisance was a young lady of about twenty-three (23) years of age who was seen engaging in open defecation at Aboadze in the Shama District, again at Wassa East in Daboase a certain community was seen very dirty with their waste dustbin site left unattended to and the whole community left malodorously, the system was used to capture the offenders by one of the field officers where the offender was cautioned to desist from such acts since they will be prosecuted in the coming days when the systems get to the final implementation by the District Environmental Health Unit.
Among other offenses that were captured on the field trip, in Effiakwasimintsim around Effiakuma No.9, a household was seen in a very untidy manner which the system would have facilitated their arrest and fine if it was the main administration, their offenses and the location was